Special Needs Scholarships

Now Accepting Applications for the 2024-25 School Year

Scholarship applications for the 2024-25 school year

Applications are now open for students applying for the 2024-25 school year. All funds have been disbursed for the current school year. Because of the new legislation that was passed merging the Carson Smith program with the Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship, new applicant scholarship awards for the 2024-25 school year will be announced in July and August based upon available funding. Existing continuing scholarship students in the Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship and current Carson Smith scholarship recipients who will be switching to the new merged program will be required to renew their application and update their records. The Children First Education Fund portal will be prepared to process these continuing student renewals beginning in May.

How can you help?

Funds for additional scholarships are generated by donations from individuals and businesses. All donations are eligible for a 100% Utah State income tax credit. Anyone who pays state income taxes is able to donate and receive the tax credit. So to help our funds to grow, please consider donating and sharing this information with others who might be interested in receiving a tax credit for their donation. Donations can be made online at www.cfe-fund/donate.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a scholarship under the Utah Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship Act, a student must meet all of the following requirements:

1.The student and the student’s custodial parent or legal guardian must reside within the State of Utah.

2.The student must have a qualifying disability as defined under the federal Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The disability must be verified within the prior 12 months by either an Individual Education Plan (IEP) from a public school, or a multidisciplinary team evaluation (MDT).

3.The student must be eligible to participate in public school in kindergarten or grades 1 through 12.

4.The student must not be attending public or charter school when the scholarship is awarded. An application can be submitted while a student is enrolled in public school, but before the award can be received, the student must have unenrolled from public school and have been accepted at a private school or declared to be homeschooled.

5.The student cannot receive the Carson Smith Scholarship in the same school year of this scholarship.

Have additional questions? Please review our comprehensive guide to the CFE Fund scholarship application process below. 

Participating Private Schools

CFEF is currently partnered with over 30 schools across the state that have been approved by the Utah State School Board (USBE) to receive students awarded with the Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship.

Scholarship Award Estimates

CFEF approved applicant scholarship amounts are awarded based on financial need. To learn more about award amounts, click below to view our complete award estimates.